Day by Day History


A great deal of history has been made in the Archdiocese of Dubuque since its founding in 1837. The Archives Office has attempted to put together a day by day accounting of both the significant and everyday events that have shaped our history.


Dec. 1, 1960: St. John/Placid completely destroyed by fireThe Witness
Dec. 1, 2001: Death of Father Wilfred W. Schmidt, retired priest of the Archdiocese.The Witness
Dec. 1, 2006: Death of Father Vincent Merfeld, retired, Chaplain, U.S. Air Force.The Witness
Dec. 2, 1925: First “Pignic Day” at St. John the Baptist, Peosta, held to help reduce the parish debt. It was the idea of pastor, Father J. Fred Kriebs.The Witness
Dec. 3, 1889. St. Francis Xavier/Dyersville (future Basilica) dedicatedp. 85-Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (1937)
Dec. 3, 1909: Birthday of Chaplain Aloysius Schmitt, recipient of the Silver Star and first U.S. Chaplain to be killed in WWII.The Witness
Dec. 5, 1998: Death of Father Reynold J. Sigwarth, priest of the Archdiocese.The Witness
Dec. 6, 1983: Rev. Raymond Roseliep, priest-poet diedThe Witness
Dec. 7, 1941: Aloysius Schmitt died at Pearl Harbor. First military chaplain to die in WWII.The Witness
Dec. 7, 1993: Death of Father John Kessler.The Witness
Dec. 8, 1855: Bishop Loras bought a block of property in the newly founded city of Waverly to be site of first Waverly Catholic Churchp. 142 – Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (1937)
Dec. 9, 1979: Death of Archbbishop Fulton Sheen.The Witness
Dec. 9: Feast of Juan Diego.The Witness
Dec. 10, 1837: Mathias Loras consecrated the first bishop of the newly erected See of Dubuque at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Mobile, AlabamaDriscoll, We Pray For Our Priests, p. 407
Dec. 10, 1979: Mother Teresa accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.The Witness
Dec. 10, 1972: Dedication of a new church and rectory at Sacred Heart Parish, Maquoketa.The Witness
Dec. 10, 1968: Death of Thomas Merton, renowned Trappist, author and poet.The Witness
Dec. 12, 1880: Building of Sacred Heart Church in Dubuque completedp. 305 – Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (1937)
Dec. 12, 2006: The Sisters of Mercy celebrated the 175th anniversary of their founding by Catherine McAuley.The Witness
Dec. 13, 2009: Msgr. Francis Friedl penned his 10th book, “Loras Luminaries, Those Who Lit the Path for Others.”The Witness
Dec. 14, 1933: Archbishop Beckman visit St. Mary/Waucoma for the first time, administers confirmationp. 154-Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (1937)
Dec. 16, 1870: St. Joseph Church (now Holy Family)/New Hampton dedicatedp. 276-Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (1937)
Dec. 16, 1957: Death of Msgr. Michael Kerper, Nativity pastor for 30 years.The Witness
Dec. 21, 1875: First resident pastor at Immaculate Conception/Gilbertvillep. 253-Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (1937)
Dec. 24, 1943: Father William Menster celebrated midnight Mass somewhere in the South Seas.The Witness
Dec. 25, 1857: Bishop Loras offered the first Mass in the partially complete CathedralDriscoll, We Pray For Our Priests, p. 411
Dec. 27, 1985: Death of Msgr. Anthony SigwarthThe Witness
Dec. 29, 1968: Death of Msgr. Fred Kriebs, Pastor of Sacred Heart Church and former manager of The Witness.The Witness
Dec. 31, 1852: Rev. William Emmonds appointed first res. pastor of Holy Trinity (St. Mary/Dubuque)p. 36 – Centennial History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (1937)